Log: Jul 17 – Jul 20 (Fri – Mon): Catching up on sleep / trying to function

Jul 17 (Fri): Work;
Jul 18 (Sat): Work;
Jul 19 (Sun): Long walk with Peter & his mom 10:30a or earlier @location;
Jul 20 (Mon): Work;

Friday: Work. Later, I slept on a new floor mat with a machine-washable sleeping bag and I felt like I slept better.

Saturday: Peter and I chilled in the morning and then went to work for about five hours because an important deadline is coming up and I had a ton to get done. But I slept on the floor again and felt like I slept better.

Sunday: Very excellent. Fun day, looooong walk with Peter & his folks. Potentially a couple thousand of people total. Lots of dogs there. It was fun. I slept on the floor again and think I slept better.

More Brain Fog

More Brain Fog

Monday: General malaise x 1 million!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YUUUUCK feeling today. It’s kind of a combo thing. I’m trying to get caught up on sleep but now my period’s started, too, which always wipes me out. And I forgot to take my iron tablets for several days leading up to it, but I took some today. But my mind has been like MUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUD all day. I did get done a lot of really important things at work today. OH! That’s what I did on Saturday.

Frustrating: My facial herpes is not only back, it’s also spreading. I’m being so careful not to scratch it or touch it and to wash my hands all the time. But it’s spreading anyway. Maybe I scratch it in my sleep.

Scary: My dad had a terrible incident while on one of his camping trips. Horrible. We don’t know if he was drugged or if he really did “just” drink too much. TOX and CAT scan came back clean, but those weren’t done for several days after the incident, I think. He came back bruised and bloody. He hadn’t known where he was or the time of day or anything for a very, very long period of time. His car was in a sort of ditch but was fine. He was 3 miles from camp + car and on foot when he sort of came to some awareness, but still not knowing where he was or when he was. He thought he was walking in Death Valley, which is not even the correct state. There are some very strange facts around this incident. My brother called the campground host, who thinks my dad was “just” extremely drunk/an alcoholic because there was an empty 5 gallon wine bottle left behind after my dad left the next day. But this is nothing like anything he’s ever experienced and he was scared / thought he had a brain tumor or something. His audio recordings from the time period are very, very strange (he always keeps an audio log during his trips). Before he really lost touch with location and time, he’d been eating at a restaurant, where the waitress asked if he was all right because he’d been looking at the rain for so long and was behaving oddly. He feels like maybe he was drugged at the restaurant and they were hoping to rob him or steal his car. He got his car stuck after that, although he has no recollection of it. There are more details, but you get the general idea. Something weird happened and I think he is lucky to be alive, whatever it was.

Misc: I’m getting very, very, very stressed/anxious about school. Trying to get hold of the textbooks is sort of killing me. It’s not 100% the money, although every time I see the price of the books, I feel sick and like quitting. I think it’s also the idea that I’m going to have to get through the books somehow. There are so many. The 1-credit vocal class has 2 required texts and 1 recommended. I’m dropping that class. There’s no chance in hell I’m paying over $200 for textbooks for a 1-credit vocal class that was just supposed to be fun. What are they thinking?? Forget it. Okay, I’m leaving. I’m going to go to bed SO EARLY.

Mood Ranking for Days: 4 – 5

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Reading disorder: “Rivers” or Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome or Irlen Syndrome

Animation of Rivers effect, from site http://www.irleneast.com/simulations.htm

This was reading for me! They’ve made it into an animation! This is the rivers effect of the white spaces on the page. The rivers were moving and I couldn’t focus on the text to read. From website: http://www.irleneast.com/simulations.htm

Wikipedia says: “Scotopic sensitivity syndrome (SSS), also known as Visual Stress, Irlen Syndrome, and Asfedia”

Wikipedia gives the symptoms as following. I have bolded and blue-colored the ones that were most related to myself:

“Symptoms

One or more of these symptoms may be related to the condition:[citation needed]

  • Eye-strain
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Migraines [I used to get a lot of visual migraines]

[11][12]

  • Nausea, including visually related motion sickness
  • Problems with depth perception (catching balls, judging distance, etc.)
  • Restricted field of view and span of recognition
  • Discomfort in presence of fluorescent lighting
  • Discomfort with busy patterns, particularly stripes (“visual stress” and “pattern glare”)[11]
  • Discomfort with extreme conditions of bright/dark contrast (i.e. backlighting)
  • Discomfort or difficulty reading (reading involves busy patterns, particularly stripes. People with strong symptoms of the syndrome find it very difficult to read black text on white paper, particularly when the paper is slightly shiny.)
  • Text that appears to move (rise, fall, swirl, shake, etc.)
  • Losing text content and only seeing rivers of white through the text
  • Words moving together becoming one unrecognizable word
  • Attention and concentration difficulties
  • Seeing the part and losing the whole
  • Epileptic seizure related to strobing or pattern glare”
Simulation of wavy text from www.irleneast.com

Simulation of wavy text from: http://www.irleneast.com. They are advertising the lenses which can apparently help some people to be able to see the text without movement.

My biggest problem was that I could not read text on a page because the white spaces kept jumping out at me and moving around. Also, the words often seemed stuck together or split in the wrong spot, so I would read “phone number” as “pho nenumber” or something like that, and spend a while wondering what the word meant), and the lines of text were wavy and moving. Did I tell anybody? Of course not. I didn’t find out this was a “thing” until a decade later.

Rivers example from site www.lexdis.org.uk

Another Rivers example, from http://www.lexdis.org.uk Although, rivers can cut straight through words, too.

MY WORK-AROUNDS: So somewhere around 7th or 8th grade, I learned to keep 2 sheets of paper with me during class: 1 sheet to lay above the line of text and the other sheet to lay beneath the line of text. That way, only 1 line of text was visible at a time for all of my in-class reading, and reading was then more do-able. Sometimes even having the whole line visible was too much, and I could narrow the margins, too, as I read.

After my Asperger diagnosis I spoke with someone there about it, and they told me that there are also tinted lenses now available for students who have that kind of issue, and can be very useful for some people.

On computer screens, I keep the scroll of the page so that there is a bar beneath or above the line I am reading. I also scroll with my computer mouse just beneath each word that I am reading. When necessary, I click and use my mouse to highlight one line at a time as I am reading. Sometimes it helps to have the line of text itself highlighted, and sometimes I highlight the whole page and then UN-highlight each line as I read it, so that the highlight is actually all the stuff beneath the line I am reading (often revealing just one word at a time, if I’m still distracted with just one line at a time). (This has driven many a person crazy, when they are trying to also read something over my shoulder.)